Ky. Man Finds Liquor Store Scam All Wet

March 11, 2005

Gregory Van Tatenhove, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, and Karl Stankovic, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, Louisville Field Division, jointly announced that a Federal Grand Jury in Lexington returned an Indictment recently charging Raad R. Mesmar, of Lexington, Kentucky, with violations of Title 18 United States Code, Sections 1373, solicitation to commit arson, 844(i), attempted arson, 1951, interference with commerce by arson, and 924(c), possession of a firearm during a violent felony.

The Indictment alleges that Mesmar solicited another person to burn his liquor store in order that he could collect insurance. Mesmar is co-owner of Southland Drive Liquors, Lexington.

If convicted, the maximum potential penalties are not more than 20 years imprisonment, and supervised release for a period of 3 years. Two of the charges carry mandatory minimum sentences of 5 years each.

Mesmar will appear before the United States District Court on a date and time to be set by the Court in Lexington, Kentucky. He was being held without bond as ordered by U. S. Magistrate Judge James Todd on March 3, 2005.

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